Video on Demand from Apple and Sony Not Quite There Yet

by Joanna Pineda Posted on August 6, 2008

Over the past couple of weeks, my family and I had the opportunity to check out the video on demand services from Apple and Sony. We found the services to be easy to use and competitively priced, but there are still a few kinks to work out in the business models.

Apple TV vs. Sony PS3

Let’s start with the Apple service.  We have an Apple TV (we bought ours for $199), which is a device that hooks up to your TV and connects via wireless to your Macintosh computer.  Using the Apple TV, we can stream photos, music and podcasts to our big screen TV.  Perhaps most fun of all, Apple TV has a custom interface for surfing YouTube!  Surfing YouTube as a family, on the big screen, from the comfort of my couch, is wonderful.  And now, we can rent or purchase movies from Apple.

The Sony service is available on the PS3.  I love our PS3 because I absolutely love Blu-ray.  The Sony service has a good selection of movies, although you’d think that a company like Sony would have a much bigger selection than Apple because it is in the entertainment business, but what do I know about these things.

My comparison of the services:

The Downsides to Video on Demand

Okay, so video on demand, for less than $5, is fabulous.  But there are some drawbacks.

BTW, the Apple site has tons of great information on the Apple TV and the video of demand service, while the Sony site had nothing that I could easily find. So, Sony, if you want to market this new service, make it easy to get information on your site!  Even the news section of the PlayStation site had nothing on the video on demand service; a search on the overall Sony site was fruitless, as well.  Egads, another terrible site search!

Will I use these new services?  Absolutely, particularly on rainy or snowy days, or when I’m just too lazy to go out.  But for movies I want to watch a few times, I’m still headed to my local video store.

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